Google+ Pages Taking Over by Jovana Bojovic
Google+ is certainly giving Facebook a run for its money. Five months after launching social networking service, Google has faced criticism for failing to provide a way for companies to connect with individuals on Google+ and the company is, at last, attempting to remedy the issue with the debut of Google+ Pages, profiles set up specifically for businesses and brands. Given the name, Google’s respond to Facebook Pages is Google+ Pages, created to “give a voice to any public figure or organization”.
It basically allows all kinds of businesses to interact in the same way individuals do on the social network, taking part in hangouts, adding people to circles and updating statuses. Just like Facebook’s “Like” button works, users can “+1” a page in order to show their affiliation with that business or brand. It is a further challenge to its rival network, which offers its own Pages service allowing businesses to promote themselves.
“Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.” Google’s Vic Gundotra wrote in the blog post. This will be a worldwide release, and for example, you can now digitally hang out with your favorite hobby group, or even chat with your mates, or even tag along with your dream band on tour. By adding everyday people and brands to your circles on Google+, Google hopes that you will be able to achieve lasting bonds with the pages (as well as people) that matter.
Not only will brands’ Google+ pages be included in search results, but Google introduced a new feature, Direct Connect, that makes it possible for users to visit Google+ pages without a single click. If you Google a company’s brand name, preceded by the plus sign, you’ll be taken directly to that company’s Google+ Page. Visiting Google+ Pages shows a faded preview of what’s to come, but it merely says, “Please check back soon.” Google spokespeople say that Pages are opening gradually to all users. For now, it is not available for all users.
I have only one question: What took them so long?
I have to admit that the Google+ Pages themselves aren’t really exciting. Just looking at them now, you wonder why it took Google so long to release this feature. They noted that they wanted to get this feature right and hence wasn’t ready to release it yet.
I gather designing a ‘page’ icon and putting a +1 on a page doesn’t quite account for the long delay.